Elite AgentFeature Interviews

Andrew Harding: Enjoy the journey

Years in the industry?
I started in October 2017. I was extremely fortunate that in my first full year in 2018 I was working under the CEO. He came back selling after a short break and he taught me everything.

I did a year on my own in 2019 and towards the end of that year, I started the team. I have been in the industry just shy of three years now.

What’s a special place in your local area?
The Darwin coastline: from Darwin City, through Fannie Bay to Nightcliff foreshore.

Darwin is a pretty small town and it’s a beautiful drive along the coastline from the city to the suburbs. I’ll always go this way to appointments; you get a chance to appreciate the beautiful coastal landscape and where we live.

Did you choose real estate or did real estate choose you?
It was a little bit of both I think. I am a qualified carpenter by trade so I’ve always had a passion for houses, and at the time I got into real estate I was working at a dealership selling cars.

One lunch break I saw a full-page ad in the paper, for a careers night at Real Estate Central that evening.

I went along and asked the guy speaking at the event afterwards if we could catch up for a coffee, as I had just been sold the ‘Real Estate Dream’. I thought he was in recruitment to be honest, but he was the CEO.

The next day we caught up for about an hour and talked everything else with a tiny bit of real estate and at the end of our conversation, he asked me, “You want a job?” Of course I said ‘yes’, and I started two weeks later.

First sale?
Housing commission home, and a bad one too – missing everything you need to call it a home.

When I started at Real Estate Central we had the contract to sell all the old housing commission homes. I remember my first Saturday of open for inspections rocking up to these houses that were terrible at best.

We sold a heap of these in my first year and we got great momentum, all sold by auction, and I learnt lots. It was a great way to start, really. 

Most memorable sale?
It was one of my very first auction campaigns that I did solo. I had met the vendors 12 months earlier at the house we sold next door, kept in contact, and I got the listing.

It sold under the hammer to a lovely lady and right after the fall of the hammer as everyone was leaving, her partner got down on one knee and proposed!

Afterwards we all had a few bottles of champagne, the buyers were swimming in the pool and the sellers were sharing stories of the house and their time there as a family.

This is what I love about real estate, anything can happen. I’ll never forget that!

What type of business do you focus on?
Past clients and making sure the people we work with get the best service they can’t find anywhere else.

Our market is very local and someone always knows someone in Darwin and I am very mindful of that. Making sure I keep in contact with my clients is huge for me – real estate is a long game and if you service your clients well, it will return in the long run. 

What’s the most important part of your day?
In the morning without a doubt, I wake up early and love getting up before the sun. Darwin is always hot, so getting up at 5am is easy here.

I’m either in the gym or will go for a ride or swim. Darwin City is very peaceful in the morning and traffic is nearly non-existent at this time of the morning. Riding through the city to grab a coffee and exercising really does set me up for the day.

Where would you like to be this time next year?
Exactly where I am, at Real Estate Central – but doing double the amount of business I am doing now.

I have spent a lot of time this year building my team, training and creating a streamlined system that works for us. I am really excited to see what we can do and how far we can push the limits.

Challenge for the industry?
Obviously COVID-19 has been a huge setback for most in the industry in some way or another. I also think that there is still this misconception among the community that real estate agents don’t provide a great service or work hard.

I’d really like to change this in Darwin and provide an exceptional service that hasn’t been seen before up here.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?  
“Ride the roller coaster, stay grounded and enjoy the journey.”

My boss is always reminding me of this.

You must work hard and stay focused when the roller coaster is down, stay grounded when the roller coaster is up and going well, and no matter what happens, always enjoy the journey.

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